854315 Landscape planning in the country

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Gugerell, Katharina , Mitrofanenko, Alexander
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


Landscape Practices and Community Engagement in Biosphere Reserves: Experiences from the Dedoplistskaro Biosphere Reserve, Eastern Georgia

Fieldwork scheduled in Georgia: 13-17 May 2024
Info-meeting (mandatory!): 15 March 2024 (Friday), 13:30, Seminarraum SR 20 (SIMH-DG/04) - attendance is imperative. Failure to attend will result in ineligibility for participation in the excursion.

At the core of this course is a thorough exploration of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (BR) concept, framed within the context of landscape planning and community engagement in mountainous areas. Delving into the intricacies of BR, the course will examine their potential in preserving biodiversity, fostering sustainable socioeconomic development, and promoting the harmonious coexistence of communities with their environment.

The primary component of the course is an excursion (13.05-17.05.2024) to the recently established (2022) Dedoplistskaro Biosphere Reserve in Kakheti, Eastern Georgia, a collaborative effort with Ilia State University, involving local Georgian students specializing in ecotourism and destination management planning. The course places a primary emphasis on the assessment of local landscapes, both natural and cultural, including mapping the zoning of the newly established BR as well as other changes since the establishment of the BR. Additionally, it aims to examine the involvement of local communities in the setting up of the Dedoplistskaro BR, its planning and management as well as their expectations of what is to come as a result of the area's designation as a BR. Students will engage with communities, farmers, and BR management to unravel how environmental conservation, cultural preservation, economic development and community participation intersect in this unique region through interviews and qualitative stakeholder mapping.

Students will have an opportunity to explore the unique context and participatory processes that led to the creation of the Dedoplistskaro BR in the historic region of Kakheti. This backdrop offers insights into how the rich cultural heritage and ancient agricultural traditions of the Kakheti region influence conservation and development efforts within the BR.

Preliminary cost estimate for the excursion (13-17 May, 2024) per person, including travel cost (flights and transportation within Georgia), accomodation, food, etc. - €750-900

Katharina and Alexander

Previous knowledge expected

Knowledge on Biosphere Reserves, Landscape Planning and Land-Policy,
Well established skills in mapping, GIS, social science methods

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Students will gain a thorough understanding of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve concept in the context of landscape planning and community engagement. They will also gain insights into the interplay between cultural heritage, traditional practices, and conservation within diverse landscapes, facilitating a nuanced understanding of the complex relationships between people and their environments. Moreover, students will develop skills in innovative participatory research methods through hands-on engagement with local stakeholders.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.